Rejected police dog bites, critically injures Midvale officer's toddler
Talk about a misleading title. Does it not make you think the dog has a history of biting or aggression? Or that he failed because he attacked the wrong people? That's the impression I get.
Turns out the dog has a degenerative eye condition. I wonder if this played a role in the attack.
The dog is a Belgian Malinois. He was being trained to detect narcotics and replace another dog. When it was discovered he had a medical condition, the officer had an option to keep him as a pet. Otherwise the dog would be sent back to California and, check it, the company that sold him would kill him. Nice. The officer chose to keep him as a pet.
Now, here is where it gets tragic. The dog has been with the family for one week. This is a dog in an entirely new environment AND with a medical condition that may affect his vision. He's put in a home with a small child, probably not something he is at all used to. In a really, really bad move, the child is left alone in the backyard with the dog.
For whatever reason, the dog began to attack the child. It took several minutes for the mother to pry the dog off of her son's head. The dog was incredibly focused on the attack. He did not harm the mom or attempt to bite anyone else.
There is a chance the toddler will die.
If you want a manual for what not to do with a brand-new dog - this would one of many cautionary tales that could be included.
A new dog placed in a new environment with people he is unfamiliar with and left alone with a child. This has nothing to do with his "rejected" status as a police dog and everything to do with responsible and safe care of a dog. When a small, physically sensitive, inquisitive toddler is around a brand-new dog, you have to go above and beyond "safe" and into "anal retentive". A toddler is no match for a dog.
I really hope the toddler pulls through. These stories are always so heart-breaking because they are so preventable.